Downtown businesses in Clinton become more “shopable” after installing automatic door buttons

Angela Smith – Community Improvement Coordinator, Central Huron (photo by Bob Montgomery)

Businesses in downtown Clinton are making accessing their stores easier following a project undertaken by the Community Improvement Coordinator for the Municipality of Central Huron.

Angela Smith recently took it upon herself to take stock of the issue of ease of access to local stores that don’t have doors that are easy to open for shoppers, parents with strollers, people in wheelchairs or on crutches and many other potential patrons in downtown Clinton. Smith wanted to install automatic door buttons in the business entrance ways, but the costs were potentially prohibitive with the buttons costing $1,850 plus tax. Smith decided to apply to the Huron County Economic Development SLED (Supporting Local Economic Development) program for funding. With the municipality’s Façade Funding program added in, it meant that businesses willing to participate would only be required to fund the balance.

The Central Huron BIA and Community Futures Huron also added their support, and within a few months, 12 local Clinton businesses had automatic door buttons installed.

“I recently researched this firsthand by taking a stroller and trying to go in and out of every shop in town. It was beyond frustrating, and I gave up after only six stores,” Smith says. “If I gave up, so will our prospective patrons.”

Smith also notes that with the COVID-19 pandemic ongoing, having the buttons that you can simply bump with your elbow is beneficial in another way, too.

“With a nudge of your elbow, it’s easier to shop in Clinton!” enthuses Smith. “There’s no need to struggle with strollers, juggle bags, or have difficulty with mobility devices – you can literally shop at the press of a button!”